Multiple Sleep Latency Testing

Physicians may request that a daytime multiple sleep latency test be performed. This is often done following an overnight sleep study. The daytime multiple sleep latency test evaluates how often and how quickly the patient falls asleep in quiet situations during the day.

Patients will be monitored for about 20 minutes every two hours. The technologist will then ask the patient to stay up until the next nap time. The test begins about two hours after awakening in the morning, and usually continues to late afternoon or early evening.

This test consists of five naps lasting approximately 10 to 30 minutes. Patients will have a nap once every two hours starting at approximately 10:00 am.

The test is painless and takes about seven hours to complete. It is not a treatment, but a single test that contributes to a patient’s total medical evaluation.

The multiple sleep latency test will record EEG, EKG, muscle activity and eye movements. These signals are recorded on a graph, which is then reviewed by a sleep medicine specialist.

This test is used to document the presence and severity of daytime sleepiness, as well as to detect sleep architecture abnormalities associated with narcolepsy.

In between naps it is very important that you stay awake and occupied between naps, so you are free to read, write letters, watch television, or have a visitor.

During the daytime hours you will sleep in a comfortable and quiet private room while data is collected through the application of electrodes. These are small metal discs that are applied with tape or a liquid, around the eyes, under the chin, and on the shoulders.

The electrodes and monitoring equipment are similar, but less extensive than those used in the all-night polysomnogram. Technologists and nurses are in continuous attendance to meet any comfort or medical needs that may arise.